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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
NEW ARTICLE: Alan Caruba, Bamboozler Extraordinaire
It's not just climate change: Mr. National Anxiety Center also loves Obama-bashing and believes that right-wing chain emails are credible sources of information. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
Corsi, Shoebat Team Up To Defend Murderous Assad Regime In Syria
Topic: WorldNetDaily

From Joel Gilbert to various shady Kenyans, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi has a bad habit of sourcing his outlandish claims with less-than-credible sources. We're seeing that again with Corsi's newest BFF, apparent charlatan Walid Shoebat.

Corsi has already pushed Shoebat's assertions that President Obama's half-brother works for the Muslim Brotherhood and that a purported Morsi government document shows that Obama has been bribing Egyptian Islamists (though the document in question has a German date on it).

Now, Corsi and Shoebat are taking the side of the  Syrian government in claiming that suspected chemical weapon attacks were carried out by Syrian rebels, not the Assad regime, with this evidence:

With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.

That's not even Aaron Klein-level anonymous sourcing.

So we have "various Middle Eastern sources" promoted by an apparent charlatan and a documented liar to take the side of a regime that has perpetrated a civil war on its own people that have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

On top of that, Corsi writes that "Russian media sources have consistently reported Syrian military have discovered rebel warehouses containing chemical weapons agents and have documented rebel chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian civilians the military." Given that Russia is in bed with the Assad regime, why trust anything the Russian media has to say?

WND has regularly sided with the murderous Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, despite Assad's human rights record. This is just the most desperate example of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:41 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 2:42 PM EDT
Newsmax Falsely Tries To Portray 'The Butler' As A Failure
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has been trying rather desperately to attack the fim "Lee Daniels' The Butler" because its portrayal of President Reagan is not completely fawning. Now it's trying to portray the film as a financial failure.

An. Aug. 26 Newsmax article by Jennifer G. Hickey touts how the film "saw its weekend box office receipts plummet by nearly a third, from $24.6 million in its opening week to $17 million last week, after a storm of protests from Republican and veterans groups." But Hickey doesn't explain that films almost always see a falloff in receipts between their opening weekend and the following weekend, and that "The Butler's drop-off is a relatively small one. By comparison, the previous top film, "Elysium," saw a 54 percent falloff from its opening weekend to the second weekend.

Also, the $51 million "The Butler" has made so far exceeds its production cost of $30 million, so it's ostensibly a profitable film (Hollywood accounting methods notwithstanding).

Meanwhile, Newsmax has found another reason to attack the film: the casting of Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan. Newsmax offers no opinon on Fonda's performance, but instead highlights how her casting "has sparked a backlash among military veterans who cannot forgive her for her actions during the Vietnam War."

Newsmax has also published a column by Michael Reagan railing against the film's portrayal of his father. Reagan does not indicate that he has actually seen the film. and he falls into a bizarre defense of his father's inaction on apartheid: "My father’s position on lifting the South African sanctions in the ‘80s had nothing to do with the narrow issue of race. It had to do with the geopolitics of the Cold War. "

So racism was a "narrow issue" regarding a system founded on it? Really?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew does a fine job of deconstructing WorldNetDaily's promotion of a Catholic cardinal purportedly warning of "the threat of 'The Smoke of Satan' descending on the Vatican itself." Turns out the cardinal said nothing about the "Smoke of Satan" and was merely issuing "a general warning against compromise; to see a coded reference here to Satanic covens is simply a grotesque misreading." Bartholomew writes.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Monday, August 26, 2013
Speaking Of Frantic, Unhinged Screeds ...

Jen Kuznicki used an Aug. 22 blog post to rant against a "frantic, unhinged screed" against Mark Levin's new book. But the only frantic, unhinged screeding we see is by Kuznicki.

How bad is it? Here's what she writes about Media Matters (disclosure: my employer):

Any time that putrid organizations like Media Matters, which was originally organized to defend the abuse of women by Bill Clinton, becomes frantic and outlandishly over-the-top, you know you are headed down the right path.

Actually, Media Matters was founded in 2004, nearly four years after Clinton left office.

What was that about a frantic, unhinged screed, Jen?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:14 PM EDT
Jerome Corsi Bogus Document Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Uh-oh -- Jerome Corsi has another supposedly incriminating document.

Corsi declares in an Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily article:

A question apparently being raised in next week’s trial in Cairo of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders facing criminal charges is this: Was the Obama administration paying bribes as large as $850,000 a year to the Morsi government that were distributed by top ministerial level officials to Muslim Brotherhood leaders, with the direct involvement of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo?

WND is in possession of an official document from inside the Morsi government that lends credibility to a report published in Arabic by an Egyptian newspaper in Cairo that lists the charges brought by the current military-controlled government against Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

As seen above, WND has obtained official records from the deposed Morsi government in Egypt, with signatures, documenting monthly “gifts” paid to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt by the former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani.

The document was seized from Egyptian government offices in Cairo when the Morsi government was deposed by the military July 3.

Corsi does not explain how he came "in possession" of this document, nor does he offer any evidence of its authenticity. He does, however, have suspected charlatan Walid Shoebat vouch for it.

Forgive us if we're a tad skeptical about this, but we remember the last time Corsi did something like this. In 2008, Corsi made a big show of traveling to Kenya to retrieve documents purporting to prove that Barack Obama "backed" the "ruthless, foreign thug" and Kenyan president Raila Odinga and that Obama donated "nearly $1 million" to Odinga's campaign. In fact, both documents were demonstrated to be fake or fraudulent.

Plus, something jumps right out at us regarding this document. At the top is the date "28.März 2013." "März" is the German word for the month of March. Why does a supposedly Egyptian Brotherhood document have a date in German?

Unless Corsi can offer up compelling evidence of the authenticity of his latest document -- not to mention the date in German -- there's absolutely no reason to believe anything he says.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:33 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Blumer Has A Fit That AP Is Reporting Good Economic News
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer just hates it when there is good economic news under a Democratic president.

An Associated Press article noting the decline in new unemployment applications since the depth of the recessions sent Blumer on an unhinged, petty rant in an Aug. 23 NewsBusters post:

After a two-year hiatus, the Associated Press has apparently decided that Americans need a weekly reminder of how bad weekly layoffs were during the recession.

In June 2011, possibly as a result of some hectoring by yours truly, the wire service totally or almost totally stopped reminding readers that "(unemployment) claims applications peaked at 659,000 during the recession." That tired figure was already over two years old, and isn't even an all-time record (several weeks during the 1980s were higher, even with a much smaller workforce). So who cares? But in each of the past three weeks, AP has resurrected that tired number (since revised slightly upward because of changes to seasonal adjustment factors), as if a one-week stat from almost 4-1/2 years ago means anything to anybody right now:

Blumer then goes ballistic over the AP stating that unemployment claims have "fallen steadily" reaching their peak because "here are two periods of more than seven month or so since that peak during which the four-week moving average moved up and stayed up." But the chart of this he includes to prove this demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that the overall trend has been steadily down:

Blumer, mind you, is the chief economic blogger for NewsBusters. But it appears that, like with many other things, he'd rather put his right-wing politics before economic facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 PM EDT
WND Pretends A White Teen Wasn't Involved In Lane Killing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily originally scrubbed its initial article on the death of Chris Lane of most of its overt race-baiting after it we pointed out that one of the suspects in Lane's death was white, not black. Apparently, WND has now decided it can race-bait over Lane's death after all.

An Aug. 23 WND article promoting Jack Cashill's upcoming book on Trayvon Martin contains this paragraph about the Lane killing:

Two teenage African-Americans are charged with the murder of Lane, and another teen faces charges for his involvement in the brutal slaying. Lane was shot in the back while jogging through his neighborhood and his death has prompted an international outcry.

Not only is the third suspect, Michael Jones, not identified as white, his role in the murder is minimized.

Cashill goes on to desperately draw a parallel between the two black suspects and Trayvon Martin, declaring that "if Trayvon was the son of Barack Obama, they were his brothers." Cashill does not say that if he had a son, he would look like Michael Jones.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT
Sunday, August 25, 2013
AIM Promotes Concussion Trutherism
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Aug. 19 Accuracy in Media article by Malcolm Kline uncritically promotes a new book defending football and minimizing the impact of the injuries its players suffer.

The book, "The War on Football" by Daniel J. Flynn, appears to fulfill the right-wing agenda of its publisher, Regnery, by channeling Rush Limbaugh's lamenting that concussions aren't a real problem for football players and efforts to reduce the incidence of concussions will destroy the sport. Kline even throws his own two cents into the endorsement:

Moreover, as Flynn eloquently points out, the benefits of football far outweigh the drawbacks.  “Players get knocked down and they either stand up or stay on the dirt,” Flynn writes. “Teams lose.”

“Then they choose—regroup to fight another day or fold. Perseverance makes the impossible possible. Players succeed by transcending pain rather than brooding in it.”

The season I played on the team in high school—sophomore year—I had one pulled muscle. That’s when one of the coaches taught me a trick I’ve used ever since. Don’t respond to pain by doubling over but by straightening up. It works. Could that be a metaphor for life itself?

If concussions are such a minor problem, why did the NFL refuse to cooperate with a documentary produced by ESPN and public television on the effects of concussions in the league? (ESPN has since taken its name off the documentary due to arguments about editorial control.)

Kline is the head of AIM's offshoot, Accuracy in Academia. He apparently didn't try to find any, in the form of dissenting opinions on the concussion issue, before writing this column.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT
Zombie Lie: WND Columnist Falsely Attacks Community Reinvestment Act
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Stan Marszalk writes in an Aug. 19 WND column:

American leaders have been overloading the economy with debt to pay for goodies promised to the populace since long before Obama, but the first big push for outright misallocation of capital (something strongly promoted by progressives) started with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, signed by Jimmy Carter. After all, the two principal economic engines driving the U.S. economy were automobiles and housing. The Act forced banks to misdirect their investment capital to areas and individuals that previously did not merit credit because of the high risks involved.

Thus, in place of 30-year mortgage loans that in the 1960s had fairly strict standards and required 20 percent down, we ended up with “liar loans” and 0 percent down, all with the support of Fannie Mae and the blessings of progressive officialdom.

Marszalk gets two things wrong here. First, the CRA did not force banks to "misdirect their investment capital to areas and individuals that previously did not merit credit." The CRA was created to fight "redlining," he practice of denying, or charging more for, banking services in certain neighborhoods due to their racial makeup, regardless of the actual riskiness of the loan. Ellen Seidman, who headed the Office of Thrift Supervision in the late 1990s, points out that the CRA does neither encourages nor condones bad lending.

Second, the CRA was not responsible for loosened loan standards that resulted in the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, loans subject to CRA regulations were less likely to default as loans made by lenders not subject to CRA regulations.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 PM EDT
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Noel Sheppard Thinks Pat Buchanan's Racial Remarks Are Shocking
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard -- known for being shocked by things that aren't shocking -- does it again in an Aug. 24 NewsBusters post:

Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan made a statement Friday guaranteed to make liberal media members' heads spin.

During a discussion about Affirmative Action on PBS's McLaughlin Group, Buchanan said, "Whites are the only group that you can discriminate against legally in America now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):


It may be a shocking thing to say on television, but is Buchanan right?

Actually, this isn't even the most shocking racial remark Buchanan has made this week. That honor goes to his Aug. 23 column, in which he praised segregated black schools for being "the transmission belts of patriotism and traditional values rooted in biblical truths and a Christian faith."

Sheppard is also overlooking the fact that Buchanan has a long history of bigoted remarks about anyone who's not white or straight.

Where does Sheppard spend his time that he thinks Buchanan suddenly became shocking and provocative about race?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:57 PM EDT
Farah Joins WND In Soft-Pedaling Cruz's Eligibility
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah begins his Aug. 22 WorldNetDaily column by whining, as he's wont to do:

Compare the media scrutiny Sen. Ted Cruz has received as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 to what happened in 2008 with Barack Obama.

It’s a day and night contrast.

Simply asking questions about Obama was labeled “racist.” It only got worse after he was elected. You might remember seeing me on TV news shows frequently in the years leading up to that election. Did you ever wonder why you don’t see me anymore? It’s because I raised this issue and became, as one wag characterized me, “the Birther King.”

Have you seen Jerome Corsi, a two-time New York Times No. 1 bestseller, on television much? Same thing. Corsi wrote “Where’s the Birth Certificate?,” which became the bestselling book in the nation before it ever was released. It’s what prompted Obama to release a badly manufactured simulation of an actual Hawaii birth certificate two years ago. He followed up with the e-book “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?” But this brilliant Harvard Ph.D. and senior staff writer for WND has become TV’s new Invisible Man ever since.

It couldn't possibly be that Corsi is a documented liar as well as a crackpot, could it, Joe?

Farah then huffs: 

Never mind that the only law enforcement investigation into Obama’s birth certificate found that it was a fraud and forgery. It didn’t matter. The media, besides WND, have steadfastly refused to report the facts for fear of being labeled part of the “birther” conspiracy.

In fact, that "law enforcement investigation" -- manipulated into existence by WND, with Corsi himself as a de facto member of the "posse" that's investigating -- is a sham. If anybody's refusing to report the facts, it's Farah and WND, who won't tell their readers what a sham it is.

It's not until the 10th paragraph of his column that Farah gets around to addressing the question he poses in his headline -- whether Ted Cruz is eligible to be president:

Now let me say this at the outset: I really like Ted Cruz. I think he would very likely make a fine president. But I think it’s important that we elect only those who are constitutionally eligible – those who fit the definition of “natural born citizens.”

Is he eligible?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect not – at least not by my understanding of what the founders had in mind when they ratified the Constitution.

WND has been soft-pedaling eligibility issues about Cruz for a while now, and the fact that Farah can't muster a more definitive answer than "I don’t know for sure, but I suspect not" tells us that he really doesn't want to know the answer. If Cruz were a Democrat, we suspect Farah would not be as reticent.

Farah goes on to praise Cruz for having "quickly released his birth certificate,"  ignoring that Obama had released one quickly as well. Farah, however, did not announce any investigation to determine whether Cruz's birth certificate is genuine.

Farah then whines further about alleged lack of coverage about constitutional eligibility, "Maybe the media know how dishonest they’ve been all along and are afraid they will get called on it." Farah may very well be talking about himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EDT
Friday, August 23, 2013
MRC's Philbin To Bradley Manning: 'Rope Costs A Lot Less Than Surgery'
Topic: Media Research Center

Matthew Philbin really wants Bradley Manning dead, especially now that he wants to become a woman named Chelsea.

Following in the trans-phobic ranting for which his employer, the Media Research Center, is becoming increasingly notorious for, Philbin tweeted: "So Bradley is Un-Manning? I imagine we're gonna be paying for that. They used to hang traitors. Rope costs a lot less than surgery."

But Philbin wasn't done denigrating Manning's sexual orientation.  Philbin wrote in a follow-up tweet: "Dr Mr Prez, I'm a gay, tranny, anti-American peace activist. I check nearly every boz in yr base. Deny me pardon at yr peril."

Philbin is no stranger to making vicious personal attacks on anyone he disagrees with. You'll recall that he joined in the MRC's mocking of Sandra Fluke by calling her a "horizontal laborer" and "Lincoln Tunnel Hitcher" and claimed "I'm gonna send her a big Costco-sized box of condoms."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 5:43 PM EDT
Buzzfeed Uncritically Repeats Aaron Klein's Propaganda For His Anti-Obama Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 20 Buzzfeed article by Ben Smith is little more than a press release for WorkldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein's latest anti-Obama book, "Impeachable Offenses." Smith uncritically repeats Klein's assertion that there has been "unexpected demand from bookstores" for the book and WND editor Joseph Farah's unverified claim that booksellers have "place[d] large orders before the public weighed in" and that the book has presold 100,000 copies. Smith also lets Klein laughably frame his book as nonpartisan, despite the unambiguous right-wing anti-Obama agenda of both himself and his publisher-slash-employer.

What Buzzfeed -- or WND, for that matter -- won't tell you is the truth behind Klein's hype. One Twitter follower responded to Smith's claim that the book was "selling like hotcakes" by pointing out that at the time, it was ranked a mere 5,449 at (As of this writing, it was ranked 4,618th in sales, still not quite hotcake territory and being far outsold by less scintillating tomes like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition.)

If WND is promoting Klein's book so dishonestly, it doesn't bode well for the veracity of the book's contents.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
NewsBusters Really Wants You To Know That Karen Finney Is 'Half-Black'
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center has some weird issues with Democratic consultant Karen Finney's race. Earlier this year, MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham was annoyed that that MSNBC was promoting Finney as black and wondered if the "average viewer" would notice, following that up by tweeting a photo of Finney so we could judge for ourselves.

Now, Paul Bremmer has continued that weird obsession, using an Aug. 22 NewsBusters post to identify Finney as "the half-black host." Bremmer does not mention the issue of race anywhere else in his post, which makes the description stick out even more.

Finney has tweeted at NewsBusters seeking a response. National Journal reports that Bremmer declined comment bercause he's an intern, but he referred questions to ... Tim Graham.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 2:58 PM EDT

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